Creepy Halloween Plants
Creepy Halloween Plants
In the spirit of Halloween, I googled “creepy plants.” One of the best articles I found was entitled “10 Creepy Plants That Shouldn’t Exist” (http://www.cracked.com/article_18979_10-creepy-plants-that-shouldnt-exist.html). As the article itself contains some language and images inappropriate for children, and because some of you might simply prefer to look at the pics now, without clicking on a link, I’ve whipped up my own, slightly shorter but more family-oriented, and somewhat educational list.
Bleeding Tooth Fungus
Found primarily in North America and Europe, this inedible fungus is a mycorrhizal species, forming mutually beneficial relationships with a variety of surrounding trees. The “bleeding” only occurs when the fungus is young, with the fruit becoming brown and boring as it ages. The pigment in the red juice is known to have anticoagulant properties.
Chinese Black Batflower
With flowers that can reach up to 12 inches across (and whiskers that can grow up to 28 inches!), these plants are related to yams (weird)! For those of you interested in growing your own for next Halloween, Wikipedia says “They grow best in well-drained soil and high humidity but are hardy down to -3C.”
Found in the hardwood and mixed forests of eastern North America, the entirety of this plant is POISONOUS (making it even creepier). The toxins in the berries have a sedative effect on the cardiac muscle tissue of humans, meaning it can make you have a heart attack. For those of you who like Batman, this plant is also called a White Baneberry.
Sea Anemone Mushroom/Octopus Stinkhorn
Native to Australia, these two different, but related, fungi let off a decaying flesh smell that attracts flies in order to spread their gleba (a solid mass of spores). As if the creepy shapes weren’t bad enough.
The seedpods of this plant are the scary part. These things, which can apparently be as big as your hand, are designed to hook onto the feet of passing animals (or humans) so they get carried to far-off destinations before being crushed to release the seeds.
While it is a cousin to a tomato, this TOXIC plant is actually an evergreen shrub that is native to tropical Madagascar and islands of the western Indian Ocean. The strong, straight fluorescent orange thorns that grow on the stems and leaves of the plant give it the menacing appearance.
Cedar-Apple Rust Fungus
Dry fungus ball with telial horns
Wet, gelatinous telial horns
- Rogue Staff